part brass rags with (one)

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part brass rags with (one)

old-fashioned To end or sever a partnership, friendship, or association with someone due to a quarrel or disagreement. It was a hard time in my life. I had recently parted brass rags with John Lewis, my erstwhile friend and business partner, over a dispute about money, and by firm was struggling to make ends meet. I would advise you to consider your position very carefully before you part the brass rags with such a wealthy associate.
See also: brass, part, rag

part brass rags with

quarrel and break off a friendship with.
This expression is explained in W. P. Drury's short story The Tadpole of an Archangel ( 1898 ): ‘When [sailors] desire to prove the brotherly love…with which each inspires the other, it is their…custom to keep their brasswork cleaning rags in a joint ragbag. But should relations…become strained between them, the bag owner casts forth upon the deck…his sometime brother's rags; and with the parting of the brassrags hostilities begin’. The phrase originated as late 19th-century nautical slang.
See also: brass, part, rag